John Connell Innovation Award

The John Connell Innovation Award, established in 2000, encourages the development of new schemes to resolve noise pollution problems in the community, and recognises a pioneering approach that addresses noise pollution from a unique standpoint.

Winner: Sharps Redmore Partnership PA solution for the Brit Oval

Sharps Redmore Partnership won their Award for their facilitation of the evolution and design of a noise management and control process to enable the Oval cricket ground to host floodlit evening cricket matches during 2009 – including the World Cup Twenty20 series.  Faced with dual challenges of deciding an acceptable sound level and meeting crowd and match organisers’ expectations for lively events, their solution involved:

  • reference to guidance on controlling music noise at outdoor venues from the Noise Council
  • agreeing target levels with London Borough of Lambeth’s Environmental Health Team
  • liaison and development with speaker suppliers Arteis and sound system operators K2B to arrive at the required sound level and quality within the stands
  • monitoring to ensure that off-site levels were within target

No complaints were received by the Oval at any point during the summer, either from their neighbours or from the London Borough of Lambeth.  Monitoring was continued by the Oval throughout the summer and levels were controlled as necessary to ensure that the offsite level was not exceeded.

Highly Commended: Arup Acoustics Recital Hall, King’s Place London

The first new recital hall to have opened in London for many years was to be developed on a busy London thoroughfare, adjacent to underground rail tracks and very close to the multiple rail lines terminating at Kings Cross – a hostile area with regard to noise exposure.

The recital hall (420 seats) needed to be protected from noise disturbance from other halls in the complex, the extensive commercial areas above, and allow noise activity which does not disturb office tenants and other building users.

Arup Acoustics’ design, bringing their experience of the concert hall at the Barbican Centre in London, and travelling to Japan to consolidate what the client and architect wanted, resulted in a shoe box design of the hall, based on classical proportions.  The architectural detailing was all developed to scatter sound to give the optimal balance of musical clarity, warmth and tone for both the audience and performer.

The innovative solution to the issue of groundbourne noise was to build the hall as a complete isolated ‘box-in-box’ structure, constructed on isolation bearings with the massive box walls are supported on an isolated slab.

The silence within the hall enables the performers and audiences alike to enjoy all types of performances and King’s Place has already built a reputation as a hall of choice for classical music recordings.

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